Clean up on your trade-in with these 10 easy fixes


Yeah, sure we never wash the rental car, you don’t spit into the wind, and never mistake someone’s silence as a sign of weakness. You KNOW those things. And you also KNOW that a cleaned, well-prepared car at trade-in time, presents a well-kept image, and returns a higher value at the sale.

With that in mind, the folks at Coverhound put together 10 easy fixes that will erase any concerns about your maintenance habits (you do change the oil and backup your PC every day, too, right?) when you sell your vehicle.

  1. SEE THE LIGHT(S). If the brake lights, headlights and high beams don’t shine, it’ll will make prospective buyers wonder what else you haven’t fixed.
  2. CAR MATS. Replace any floor mats that have seen better days and hit carpeted areas with a upholstery cleaner.
  3. BUMPERS. Back-to-black bumper cleaner will help remove the remnants of bumper stickers past.
  4. DASHBOARD. Wax will help restore some shine to that faded dash. THere’s a number of cleaners in easy to use containers to restore luster and remove dirt and dust. Think of what you’d think if you were seeing your vehicle for the first time.
  5. PAINT SWIRLS. Color polish will help remove those unsightly swirls and restore brightness to sun worn paint.
  6. PAINT CHIPS. Pick up a touch-up kit that includes primer, paint and lacquer that match the color of your vehicle.
  7. DENTS. Rather than doing this one yourself, call a paint-less dent repair service.
  8. SCRATCHES. Scratch repair products can help remove lighter scratches, but deeper ones will need to be filled and repainted by a professional.
  9. WINDSHIELD. Talk to a professional about whether any cracks can be repaired or if replacing the windshield is the only option.
  10. TIRES. Use wax or a paint-on product to get rid of that scuffed-up look. There are many products in an easy to use spray bottle – probably the same stuff the reconditioning shop at the dealer uses to make them look shiny and race ready. Use it, please.

Pre Sale Car Prep